Absolutely Avoid While Traveling Abroad

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Don’t botch the slang
Flip Flops/ slippers are known as jandals! Don’t ask why. Swimming trunks are called Togs. Chicken are called chooks. Singlet tops are know as wife beaters. Cricket is a sport and not an insect. We have places named FUCK A PAPA, FUCK A TANI, spelled as Whakapapa, Whakatane. If you are chuckling right now, please re-read the sentence above!

Never disrespect the dialects, the Queen, or LOTR
Do not confuse New Zealanders with Aussies! Kiwi accent is funny, don’t point it out. The indigenous people of New Zealand are called Maoris. Do not make fun of the culture or language. Queen of England is still a big deal here! Not a good idea to make fun of her. Hobbiton is a real place. Kiwis are proud of Lord Of the Rings! Do not make fun of the franchise!

Feel free to go barefoot, but don’t swim, apparently

If you find people walking with no footwear whatsoever, don’t stare. It’s perfectly normal to go about in public places without footwear, and in some cases a shirt. You will still be served. Swimming in NZ waters is extremely tricky. Although there are no sharks, the tides and currents will kill you.

Don’t tip anyone

No one. NO ONE. Tipping is just not part of the culture. Don’t even leave small change. People will come running after you with it. Seriously.

Don’t forget to remove toilet slippers or wash your private parts.

Don’t forget to take off the special toilet slippers once you leave the toilet room. You will encounter ‘washlets’ or toilets with attachments for washing and drying your private parts everywhere. Don’t get too freaked out by them…and if you can’t figure them out, you can always use toilet paper.

Don’t get overenthusiastic about nudity
 People are pretty relaxed about nudity, and both men and women will for example change on public beaches without any attempt at covering themselves up. You are however expected to look away.

Never compare them to Sweden

Do not assume that everything in Sweden is more advanced and modern. Swedes and Norwegians may make fun of each other, but Norwegians are quite sensitive as to how we’re perceived abroad.

Make sure to give an odd number of flowers as a gift

Traditionally, an even number of flowers is given only at funerals. An odd number is given for celebrations. That’s why you can often find a man throwing out a flower when he buys a large bouquet.

NEVER wear your outdoor shoes inside the house
This is a major faux pas, particularly since Russian streets are generally very slushy and no one appreciates bringing grime onto their immaculate floor. This rule also holds in Norway, Malaysia, Japan, and many other countries.

Don’t touch the top of anyone’s head

Never touch anyone’s head or pass anything from above the head. It is considered to be the most sacred body part.

If you have to point, use your thumbs
Do not point your forefinger at things. Instead point a thumb. Pointing a forefinger at anything is considered rude.

If you’re a woman, avoid touching monks
Do not touch or give anything to a monk if you are a woman, they have to fast and do ritual cleansing.

Try not to kiss or hold hands in public

In some jurisdictions, kissing in public can get you into jail under “public obscenity.” Hugging and handshakes are still frowned upon in most parts of the country among members of opposite sex. This is not illegal and no one goes to jail for hugging/handshakes. On the other hand, among members of same sex hugging is pretty common.

Don’t touch anything with your feet
If you stomp over a book, national flag, image of a deity etc, you can get into trouble. While stomping a book is frowned upon (people will think you are an idiot), deliberately stomping an image of a god of any religion or India’s national symbols (such as the flag and the emblem) might get you arrested.

NEVER walk in the bicycle lane
 In Amsterdam pedestrians should not walk in the bicycle lane! As you know the Dutch are know for their permissiveness, drugs..prostitution..all fine… but our collectively pent-up intolerance is reserved for those unlucky visitors that dare to walk where they are not supposed to.


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